Breakdown courtesy of Bolts play by play guy:
Quad City 12 games (6H, 6A)
Peoria 10 games (5H, 5A)
Knoxville 4 games (2H, 2A)
Huntsville 7 games (4H, 3A) - incl. home opener on 10/20
Fayetteville 4 games (1H, 3A) - all away games one weekend
Roanoke 6 games (2H, 4A)
Pensacola 2 games (2H, 0A) - in Penscola is the only place Bolts will not play during regular season
Macon 3 games (2H, 1A)
Birmingham 7 games (3H, 4A)
If they're going to take a runner on somewhat Clarke seems like a reasonable thought. In an ideal world, he'd have a chance to get a little more experience as an assistant.
Rough day for Evansville hockey. Hope the organization can find someone with the skills to keep the team headed in the right direction.
Lubin, Stewart, and Fazio have all be on the team at points during the past couple years, so I won't delve on them.
The other two are new, here's a quick blurb:
I'm fairly certain that Clarke is retiring again, but I didn't want to overstate my memory.
It does bring up a funny line from his "bio" off the team site.
If you're keeping track that means these guys are not protected:
Bo Driscoll - improved play in later part of season but no surprise
Cory Melkert - the team captain has been a fixture for the last 2 seasons. He signed with "Bisons de Neuilly-sur-Marne" in France's FFHG D1. I don't think it's a particularly strong level of hockey, but I'm no intl expert.
Tyler Deresky - only spent 21 games with the team, but was very productive in the regular season (14 points in 18 games)
Shayne Morrissey - played for 3 teams last year, but had the most success with Evansville. In 15 games he had 4 goals and 7 assists.
Dylan Clarke - undoubtedly the best all-around player on the team, and one of the top performers in the league. Clarke had an eye-popping 52 points in 51 games. I suspect he may be hanging up his skates, which is unfortunate because he's still playing at such a high level. He had taken off the season before last and coached the EVV Jr Thunderbolts. I hope the Bolts bring him on as an assistant.
Brendan Mitchell - the rookie D spent the whole year with the team, and to my eyes looked pretty good for his first year.
Mark Petaccio - a reliable scorer who put up 18g, 19a in his 52 games with EVV. Was left off the playoff roster, so this isn't a shocker. I'd like to speculate, but I'll refrain.
Nick Lazorko - was originally selected by Evansville in the expansion draft two years ago, but elected to play overseas instead. Ended up in EVV for about half the year, and actually had a pretty good scoring run (23 pts in 24 games).
Last but not least, Ryan de Melo came in to help stopgap the bleeding after star goalie Tomas Sholl went up to dominate the ECHL. The well-traveled veteran had a respectable showing. He went 5-4-2 with a 2.79GAA and .915 SV%. Honestly, the guy gave them a chance to win, and that's what they lacked in the middle of the season.
I'm not including guys who weren't on the team at the end of the year. The only ones I can think of who were particularly good players would've been Jackson Leef and Blake Thompson, both on ECHL callups. I presume the team figures they'll remain up in the ECHL.
•Robbie Hall (Defense) — The 5-foot-11, 190-pound Schaumberg, Ill. native, played 44 games with Evansville last season, earning 5 goals and 7 assists for 12 points.
•Brandon Lubin (Defense) — The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Commerce, Mich. native has been called up to the ECHL twice in two years. Last season he played 46 games for Evansville, where he tallied 4 goals and 6 assists for 10 points.
•Justin MacDonald (Forward) — This fan favorite and playmaker is no stranger to the ECHL. While he spent the first half of last season with Evansville (12 goals, 12 assists in 16 games), the 6-foot, 180-pound Newmarket, Ont. native played the rest of the season for both the Adirondack Thunder and the Fort Wayne Komets, where he earned 5 goals and 4 assists in 28 games.
•Nick D’Avolio (Center) — The 5-foot-11, 185-pound North Riverside, Ill. native had a standout season last year, tallying 11 goals and 24 assists for 35 points in 56 games. D’Avolio ended the season tied with MacDonald for the team’s highest +/- with a +10.
•Tyler Vankleef (Forward) — Vankleef spent last year between the Thunderbolts and the ECHL — Wichita Thunder, Wheeling Nailers and Rapid City Rush. The 6-foot, 180-pound Dundas, Ont. native played in 27 games for Evansville, earning 10 goals and 11 assists for 21 points.
•Hunter Stewart (Forward) — The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Calgary, Alta. native made a big impact for Evansville when he was picked up in the backend of the season. He earned just as many points as games played (4 goals and 4 assists in 8 games).
•Mike Fazio (LW) — Coming straight out of the University of Wisconsin River Falls, the 6-foot, 185-pound Bartlett, Ill. native had a strong first year as a pro, tallying 5 goals and 10 assists for 15 points in 43 games.
•Dave Williams (Forward) — Evansville’s leading scorer in 2016-17 returned to rack up 21 goals and 32 assists for 53 points in 56 games.
•Carter Shinkaruk (Forward) — The 5-foot-10, 185-pound Langley, BC native was another late addition to Evansville’s roster last season. However, the third-year pro was able to earn 4 goals and 3 assists in only 10 games.
•John Scorcia (Center) — The second-year pro had a strong first season but an even stronger sequel with Evansville. The 5-foot-9, 185-pound Hudson, Fla. native tallied 17 goals and 34 assists for 51 points in 56 games.
•Frank Schumacher (Defense) — The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Brighton, Mich. native has played in the ECHL three times in the last three seasons. Last season in Evansville, Schumacher earned 5 goals and 15 assists in 41 games.
•Ian Sylves (Goalie) — Sylves joined the team at the end of last season, where he went 3-1-1.
•Chase Nieuwendyk (Defense) — The 6-foot, 180-pound Georgetown, Ont. native had a standout season on the ice last year, tallying 10 goals and 23 assists for 33 points in 53 games.
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Maybe he's a good "value"?
I suspect if he had recent "high-level experience" he wouldn't be taking an SPHL job. Just saying.
Curious to hear the logic behind this.
Feels like we're really splitting hairs over what a "majority transfer of ownership" is. The franchise is moving because ownership was transferred to another group. Individuals are welcome to file that however they wish.
I don't understand what distinction is being made here. The old Ice Gators franchise has become the new Quad City one.
Right. It's just a name.
This seems like a rhetorical question, but I'll answer it genuinely: yes. It's not like there are dozens of "real" leagues around the US. The Central Hockey League "folding" a few years ago created an environment that is challenging for many of their former franchises. Evansville and Quad City are both former CHL locations that struggled to support the ECHL cost structure. Brampton and Rapid City are both around the 3000 mark in attendance, so don't be surprised if they eventually can't field ECHL squads. They're geographically much further though making the SPHL an exceptionally unlikely destination.
The upside to the addition of teams outside the traditional footprint means it becomes much more viable for other franchises to join. It gives more flexibility for the SPHL to schedule closer opponents heavily (like they currently do with Evansville and Peoria).
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Justin's a guy with a proven ability to score in both the ECHL and SPHL, so hearing about this is no surprise. He played 42 games over the past 2 seasons with the Thunderbolts and had 21g, 27a. During his two year stint with the Evansville Icemen he notched 33 points in 55 games.
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